MLK FAME Community Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social, cultural, economic and community service for Seattle area residents of all ages, races, cultures and ethnicities.
MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center Staff
Mabel Alexander, Board President
Peggy Foxx, Office Manager
Ron Flynn, Facilities Manager
Donnell Mitchell, Custodian
Empowered to Develop and Promote Social, Cultural, Economic & Community Service For Youth and Adults.
Organization and Background
The MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center was founded in 2011 when members of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Seattle, Washington, saw an opportunity to increase community engagement by purchasing the former MLK Elementary School from Seattle Public Schools. With an eye toward transforming the site into a vibrant cultural center, the church established a separate non-profit (MLK F.A.M.E. Community Center) with its own Board of Directors. Ownership of the property was subsequently transferred to the new entity.
After spending its first years completing capital upgrades to pass building inspections and performing community outreach, MLK F.A.M.E Community Center is achieving its mission of promoting social, cultural, economic and community service for Seattle residents of all ages, races, cultures and ethnicities. Art and cultural enrichment are our major focus areas. For example, the Gymnasium and Auditorium are free during the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm for youth/social services programs and events, Monday thru Saturday with limited restrictions. This unique opportunity has been used by many residents and groups within the community. Some groups include The Bush School’s after school athletic programs, Monthly Movie Night at the Center, Valley School, a variety of summer camps, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle United Soccer (children), Girls Rock Math, Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Org., Girl Scouts, various soccer and basketball teams, Seattle JazzED, martial arts programs for children, an after school homework program and many other events, classes and programs geared toward youth.
MLK Community Center has a history of strong financial stewardship and smart frugality. Our revenue comes from leased classrooms, and designated rental rooms (auditorium, gym, community and conference room), and is supplemented through individual contributions and grants. However, rental revenue opportunity is constrained by our contract with Seattle Public Schools (stipulated in the building purchase agreement), requiring that we offer lease rates at a 50 percent discounted market rate and free time for youth and social services activities. Our primary expenses are for 2.3 staff positions, gradual building improvements, building utilities and insurance. Community volunteers contribute thousands of hours of time annually to help achieve our mission.
Despite constraints, the Center has thrived. For the past four years, we have averaged about $25,000 from our annual fundraiser. Along with lease and rental income and donations, we are financially sound, have no debt and continue to make improvements to the building. In the past couple of years, the Center has installed new custom front doors, carpeted the hallways, auditorium and conference room, retiled the front entrance, installed custom theatre curtains and had the stage hardwood floors recovered. Parts of
the MLK building is 100+ years old which presents maintenance challenges, which we have successfully dealt with as they present themselves.
The responsibility of managing all aspects of the Center is our board, currently consisting of nine individuals who meet every other week to focus on the Center needs. They are committed through their hours of volunteer time, personal financial support and deep interest in assuring the Center stays a vibrant, active, involved member of the greater Seattle metropolitan community. The Center fills a gap in the community by providing a reasonably priced place that can accommodate all members of a family from the preschooler to adults in some way. This is just an overview of the Center activities for you to share and gain knowledge of the wonderful asset located in your own back yard. Take the opportunity to visit, plan an event or participate in a tenant sponsored activity. You are cordially invited to be a part of the Center. The Center is opened Monday thru Saturday from 8:00am to 9:00pm. We are open on Sunday and later than 9:00pm by special request only.